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March 8, 2011

A better way to pray for others (Part 2)

In the last post, we learned that Paul cultivated a sense of thankfulness in his prayers for the church at Colossae. He also celebrated the eternal in their lives, instead of the natural and temporal.

The second part of the prayer (the second long, drawn-out sentence in the Greek, vv. 9-14) is about Paul’s petition. What did the Apostle Paul ask for in the lives of these believers? It’s nothing like most of our prayers sound for others!

9* For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Paul’s unceasing petition for the Colossian believers is aimed at their being filled with and growing in the knowledge of God’s will.

Paul then expands on this request and lets us know what this looks like:

10* That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11* Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

In other words, as the believers were filled with this spiritual wisdom, this knowledge of God’s will, Paul prays they would:

Walk worthy. Live in such a way that God was glorified in them.
Be fruitful in good works.
Increase in their knowledge of God.
Be strengthened with spiritual power so they could be patient and suffer with joyfulness

To say this anther way, the Greek is structured like this in each section:

3-8 “I thank my God because of your…”


9-14 “I never cease to pray and ask for…”

The knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and insight for the purpose of (so that you might)

Live worthy lives
Please him with everything
Bear fruit
Grow in knowledge
Be strengthened

As I have prayed this way over the past few weeks, my prayer life has changed. I focus less on the “health, wealth, and success” of others and more on the formation of Christ in them.

Are you praying this way too? What are you learning from it?

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